Putikmade: modern, affordable, L.A.-made pots


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Highland Park artist Jennifer Friend will premiere Putikmade, her line of affordable handcrafted garden vessels, at the Grow! garden show in May at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. All of the table and hanging planters are made of hand-thrown black mountain clay. Bud vases begin at just $15; the table planter pictured here is $30.

‘The clay is just so dark and lovely, and you don’t have to even glaze it is so beautiful,’ Friend said. ‘I chose an interior green glaze because it is very loud and it matches with the darkness of the clay.’


When Friend attended Cal State Long Beach, the fine arts major created sculpture in metal, bronze and wood but never enrolled in thrown-form ceramics. ‘I took a hand building class,’ said Friend, 41. ‘I never even touched the wheel. The classes were always full.’

After graduation, Friend went to nursing school and worked as a nurse for seven years. She got married, stayed home to be a mother and then inevitably asked herself, ‘What’s next?’

‘I wanted to go back to work but didn’t want to be a nurse anymore,’ she said. ‘I wanted to do something I really enjoyed.’

Friend returned to her art roots and enrolled in an introduction to pottery class at Xiem Clay Center in Pasadena. She finally managed to take the ceramics class. She graduated, she said, a terrible potter. ‘So I went back and took the class again.’

She has chosen to specialize in garden pieces because that is what inspires her. ‘The pottery world is inundated with bowls and tubs,’ she said. ‘I wanted to stand out a bit.’ The planters are about 6 inches tall, and Friend said she wants to add wind chimes in time for the Grow! show. A small selection of Putikmade vessels are on Etsy. Custom orders and local pickup are also an option.



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-- Lisa Boone